Network Login starter questions

I’m new to networks and servers, been using Linux on the desktop for a while now but always relied on the company’s IT guy for setting up everyting LAN-based.

Now I want to build up my home LAN, and want to do it with Linux.

I’ve managed to set up LAMP and file share servers.

What I am looking for is information on what I need, and how to set up a server for the following tasks:

  • Centralized Username and Password, that when the user logs into any one of the desktops in the LAN, it uses this for authentication
  • Something that allows this authentication to be utilized in other servers (file access, web access, router logging, etc.). Something to make it easier for continuing permissions from one service to another. e.g. I have IPCop filtering content, and it has provisions for tracking who is making which request if there is authentication going on.
  • (optionally) to run a script for mounting Samba shares or mapped network drives so from one system to the next. For example, in whatever box somebody logs in, it mounts a server share (“smb://Myserver/users/<username>”) to a local folder (“my_user_share”).
    So; [LIST]
  • user “fred” =“smb://Myserver/users/fred”
    and
  • user “wilma” = “smb://Myserver/users/wilma”

but both would find their respective one mounted under “~/my_user_share”. This would be irrespective of which box they are loggin in with. If the server share location changes (new server/servername), I change it on the server so the next time they log in it points to the right place. I hope this makes sense.[/LIST]

I guess it is similar to Window’s Active Directory, though I’m not sure what it’s called, how to configure it and what it is and is not capable of doing.

Any help, hints, pointers or documentation would be handy for me to get into. It is likely a mixed Linux(primary)/Window environment with multiple Linux distributions.

Like I said, I am pretty new to networking and servers. I am also tired of having to make each person on each system after each install/re-install.

I have no doubt that more suggestions will come forward, so I do not hesitate to throw in some bits.

. For central userid/group/passwd administration on Unix/Linux NIS (longtime ago known as Yellow Pages) was invented. When no auggestions about a newer alternative show up, look into it.

. You say you want to let Linux systems work together. Why does the word Samba then show up in your post? Samba is for interfacinng with MS systems. Unix/Linux system have their native ways of doing filesharing (NFS) and printing (CUPS).

It’s Linux and Windows mixed. Plus, I’ve heard that it is almost easier to just use Samba than to use whatever else is Linux-specific.

So NIS is related to login/password/groups? I’ll look that up. Where does PAM come in?